NHL Game Summary - Minnesota at St. Louis
(Sunday, February 18th)
Final Score: St. Louis 5, Minnesota 3
St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - David Backes' pair of scores lifted the Blues to a 5-3 win over the Wild at Scottrade Center.
Jamal Mayers, Jay McClement, and Keith Tkachuk also lit the lamp for St. Louis, which has won three in a row and four of six. Lee Stempniak recorded two assists, and Manny Legace stopped 33 shots to pick up the victory.
Marian Gaborik scored and picked up one assist for Minnesota, which has lost two of three. Adam Hall and Pavol Demitra also tallied, and Mark Parrish collected a pair of helpers.
Niklas Backstrom picked up the loss, and stopped 21 shots before leaving the game after two periods. Josh Harding was a perfect four-of-four in 18 minutes of third-period relief.
Having surrendered a two-goal lead late in the first period, the Blues snapped to attention and wrapped up the game with a three-goal middle stanza.
A pair of scores in a 2:39 span early in the period restored the two-goal cushion, as McClement made it 3-2 at 5:01 and Backes netted his second of the game at 7:40.
Tkachuk put the Blues up 5-2 with 3:23 left in the period, whacking home a loose puck behind Backstrom in the crease for his 20th goal of the season.
After several shifts of constant pressure late in the contest, Demitra brought the Wild within 5-3 with 3:10 left in regulation, banking a puck which caromed off the end boards off Legace's head and into the net.
Harding went to the bench with almost two minutes to go, but the Blues spent more time with the puck in their half of the ice, missing two chances for an empty-net score before time ran out.
"We take every game the same way," Blues forward Dallas Drake said. "We have to win a lot of games right now to get into the playoffs. We have to go on a huge run now to get ourselves back into it."
Mayers put a damper on Minnesota's first power-play chance 6:34 into the game, giving the Blues a 1-0 lead with a far-side shot from the outer edge of the right circle.
Backes followed with a power-play tally with 8:02 to play in the first, taking his own rebound and beating Backstrom with a wrister in the top right corner.
Hall brought the Wild within one with 5:51 to play in the first, batting a floating puck out of mid-air in the slot and bouncing it into the net just inside the far post, and only two seconds remained when Gaborik tallied to tie the game 2-2.
"I never felt that we were in the game," said Wild head coach Jacques Lemaire. "Even at two-two. We were fortunate to be at two-two after one period, but still, the second period started and we felt that it would be easy."
Minnesota is 6-2-0 in the last eight matchups with St. Louis, and both teams have split a pair of games this season...The Wild scored once in five power play chances, while the Blues ended with one goal on seven opportunities.
02/18 22:14:49 ET